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Transmission Mystery: '01 Impala LS with 38,000mi.. No Go.

 
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2JZFAN
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 28, 2011 1:06 pm    Post subject: Question Transmission Mystery: '01 Impala LS with 38,000mi.. No Go. Reply with quote

Hey guys, happy holidays! I've been a member here for a while keeping this Impala going and I wanted to start by saying thank you.

As of late the Impala has been sitting in the garage waiting for me to tear into it for months. As I've been searching the forums lately I've noticed a number of different things my cars failure could be. I was hoping a brief explanation could better point me in the right direction.

Long story short the car was purchased new, owned, and operated by a single elderly woman until 26k mi when I purchased it. While she had the car it sat most of the time (8yrs) but I have records indicating when milestones were hit a dealership performed the appropriate maintenance.

While I was last driving the car it began slipping within a certain RPM range.. I recall it was about 2800RPM-3200RPM. The car also began suffering difficulty shifting gears due to the specific RPM range when slipping would occur. Eventually the range increased and the car got to a point that it was not safe to be driven. As a second car I parked it, when I returned about two weeks later to take it into a friend it could barely power itself forward in 1st gear. Somehow it got worse then I last remembered sitting in the driveway.

The car is a 2001 Impala LS with roughly 38k mi on it and I'm at a complete loss.. I know the car is considered old but it has low mileage, hasn't suffered neglect under my ownership, and saw little abuse. I hope the details I've provided will help someone with experience identify the problem so I can fix it. Thanks in advance for any time you contribute to this thread, I really appreciate it.
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billy101
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2010 Chevrolet Malibu


PostPosted: Wed Dec 28, 2011 1:50 pm    Post subject: Question Re: Transmission Mystery: '01 Impala LS with 38,000mi.. No G Reply with quote

2JZFAN wrote:
Hey guys, happy holidays! I've been a member here for a while keeping this Impala going and I wanted to start by saying thank you.

As of late the Impala has been sitting in the garage waiting for me to tear into it for months. As I've been searching the forums lately I've noticed a number of different things my cars failure could be. I was hoping a brief explanation could better point me in the right direction.

Long story short the car was purchased new, owned, and operated by a single elderly woman until 26k mi when I purchased it. While she had the car it sat most of the time (8yrs) but I have records indicating when milestones were hit a dealership performed the appropriate maintenance.

While I was last driving the car it began slipping within a certain RPM range.. I recall it was about 2800RPM-3200RPM. The car also began suffering difficulty shifting gears due to the specific RPM range when slipping would occur. Eventually the range increased and the car got to a point that it was not safe to be driven. As a second car I parked it, when I returned about two weeks later to take it into a friend it could barely power itself forward in 1st gear. Somehow it got worse then I last remembered sitting in the driveway.

The car is a 2001 Impala LS with roughly 38k mi on it and I'm at a complete loss.. I know the car is considered old but it has low mileage, hasn't suffered neglect under my ownership, and saw little abuse. I hope the details I've provided will help someone with experience identify the problem so I can fix it. Thanks in advance for any time you contribute to this thread, I really appreciate it.


What does the fluid look like?

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2002 Impala LS 3.8 -121,749 miles 11/13/2011
2001 Impala LS 3.8 - 118,510 miles. 9/2/2011. RIP - 11/12/2011
2010 Malibu LTZ 3.6 - 16,014miles. 8/20/2011.
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98ss
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 28, 2011 1:55 pm    Post subject:   Reply with quote

Try putting a bottle or 2 of red lubegard in there and see what it does.
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2JZFAN
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 28, 2011 2:49 pm    Post subject: Question Re: Transmission Mystery: '01 Impala LS with 38,000mi.. No G Reply with quote

billy101 wrote:
What does the fluid look like?


The cars has been sitting but looks like slightly used trans fluid.. Clearish red with a little tiny specs of sediment in it. I can't start the car until I get my new battery this afternoon.
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billy101
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 28, 2011 3:55 pm    Post subject: Question Re: Transmission Mystery: '01 Impala LS with 38,000mi.. No G Reply with quote

2JZFAN wrote:
billy101 wrote:
What does the fluid look like?


The cars has been sitting but looks like slightly used trans fluid.. Clearish red with a little tiny specs of sediment in it. I can't start the car until I get my new battery this afternoon.


Take the dipstick out and wipe the fluid on a white paper towel or similar and try and post up a pic. How is the fluid level?

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2002 Impala LS 3.8 -121,749 miles 11/13/2011
2001 Impala LS 3.8 - 118,510 miles. 9/2/2011. RIP - 11/12/2011
2010 Malibu LTZ 3.6 - 16,014miles. 8/20/2011.
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98ss
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 28, 2011 5:21 pm    Post subject:   Reply with quote

Its not such a big deal to have crap floating around in the pan because you have a filter on the trans. Most likely its just junk that had settled from sitting and now has gotten stirred up. The issue would be if there is a ton of it and it jams up the filter (not very likely @38k). Try the lubegard red bottle and drive it around, that stuff works wonders.
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2JZFAN
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 28, 2011 5:53 pm    Post subject: Question Re: Transmission Mystery: '01 Impala LS with 38,000mi.. No G Reply with quote

98ss wrote:
Try putting a bottle or 2 of red lubegard in there and see what it does.


Sorry I missed your post in my earlier reply, thanks for the advice, and I'll keep that in mind.

billy101 wrote:
Take the dipstick out and wipe the fluid on a white paper towel or similar and try and post up a pic. How is the fluid level?


Got a couple for ya



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98ss
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 28, 2011 7:11 pm    Post subject:   Reply with quote

That really doesn't look that bad. Another thing to remember is that when you put the new battery in, the computer will relearn all of your driving habits and adapt to them. So, the problem may vanish.
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2JZFAN
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 29, 2011 2:48 pm    Post subject:   Reply with quote

98ss wrote:
That really doesn't look that bad. Another thing to remember is that when you put the new battery in, the computer will relearn all of your driving habits and adapt to them. So, the problem may vanish.


I wasn't able to get the battery the other night and I may not be able to get it today. I'm concerned the fluid isn't showing much due to how long the car has been sitting.. Fluid levels would report higher and sediment has had time to settle.

In regard to Red Lubegard is this the product? http://www.lubegard.com/C-112/.....Protectant If so I'm not seeing how it could help.

If I need to elaborate more on the progression of failure then I'm prepared to do so. I think there is more to be discussed about how things happened and worsened with time.
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 29, 2011 2:51 pm    Post subject:   Reply with quote

That would be the stuff. Once you get a new battery in and the car all warmed up you can check the level of the trans fluid properly.
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billy101
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 29, 2011 3:18 pm    Post subject:   Reply with quote

I'm curious being as the trans only has 38k on it like you say..that's VERY early for a 4t65e to blow

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2002 Impala LS 3.8 -121,749 miles 11/13/2011
2001 Impala LS 3.8 - 118,510 miles. 9/2/2011. RIP - 11/12/2011
2010 Malibu LTZ 3.6 - 16,014miles. 8/20/2011.
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 01, 2012 1:09 am    Post subject:   Reply with quote

has the catalytic converter been changed?

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 17, 2012 12:52 pm    Post subject:   Reply with quote

Wondering if you got this sorted out? It could be possible that the cat is completely clogged causing it to have issues accelerating through first gear...when my cat went you could put it to the floor and it would hesitate and be up at like 3500rpm and barely be going anywhere.

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2002 Impala LS 3.8 -121,749 miles 11/13/2011
2001 Impala LS 3.8 - 118,510 miles. 9/2/2011. RIP - 11/12/2011
2010 Malibu LTZ 3.6 - 16,014miles. 8/20/2011.
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 17, 2012 2:09 pm    Post subject:   Reply with quote

It's got so few miles on it that it seems unlikely anything would fail -but age and disuse will damage parts anyway.

Catalytic converter may be messed up, or possibly an issue with solenoids in the transmission - maybe they fail if they're not routinely put in use to keep them lubricated/working? Fuel injectors and filter are other possibilities.

If the new battery doesn't rectify the issue (and I doubt it will)

I suggest you replace the fuel filter. Fuel delivery getting interrupted will change how the car runs, and the filter is probably the cheapest possible item on the list of potential issues here.

Edit:

Also check the exhaust backpressure and your air intake system. If a vehicle sits unused, animals may have gotten in and died/nested. A back-pressure test will reveal wether the catalytic converter is bad, as well.

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